Marsh's essays are informational for someone my age who doesn't know a lot about the artists who are not the biggest stars, even if their songs have now made the oldies stations' playlists. Its focus on singles leads to a very different view of rock history from the classic rock/album oriented rock one that a lot of rock criticism I've read sticks to. It's an absorbing read because it's so personal, and Marsh's memories bring up the soudntrack to one's own past.
You won't agree with every single choice (what the hell possessed him to include a piece of bland schlock like Billy Ocean's "Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car"?). But over all, the reason to read this book is that it deserves the exact opposite of the warning at the beginning of the hilarious Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs: The Heart of Rock and Soul will make good songs play unstoppably in your head.